You might feel as though you’ve tried absolutely everything to alleviate anxiety, tension, and stress. It seems like every day there’s a new medication, trend, or self-help book being touted as the solution. However, every now and then something pops up that really works, so long as you keep an open mind. Enter “tapping for anxiety.” In short, it’s like acupuncture without the needles, and you may be surprised by the benefits you reap when incorporating it into your self-care regimen.
What is “tapping”?
Also referred to as “meridian tapping” or “EFT” (emotional freedom technique) this approach is has been around since the 1960s when a chiropractor by the name of Dr. George Goodheart experimented with manual pressure and percussing, or tapping for anxiety acupressure points. For the first time, people received the benefits of acupuncture without the fear or discomfort of needles. Later on, a therapist named Dr. John Diamond added the use of positive statements or affirmations said aloud to meridian tapping and named it “Behavioral Kinesiology”.
It was Dr. Roger Callahan who truly took it to the next level by having his patients focus on a particular worry or phobia while tapping the meridians. The results were astounding—he was reportedly able to cure crippling fears, often permanently. One of Dr. Callahan’s students, Gary Craig, reformulated tapping as a self-administered treatment and is now its biggest advocate. He named his technique “EFT” and has been helping people heal themselves since the 1990s.
How does it work?
Tapping is intended to remove negative energy and blockages to bring you back to your natural, healthy state of well-being. Even if you have never experienced acupuncture or acupressure, you can try tapping for anxiety. It’s safe for all ages, so you can even teach it to children who are experiencing anxiety. EFT has you use your fingertips instead of needles to tap directly on meridians all over the body. Since it’s self-administered, it’s free—you need not see a therapist or even leave your home to experience the rewards of an EFT session.
I learned how to do it within minutes by watching a video online. Basically, you tap your fingertips on specific points of the body while saying key phrases out loud. That process is repeated several times until you feel the fear or anxiety starts to dissipate. Generally, you’ll begin to feel better after just a few rounds. I cried a little the first time I went through a round of tapping and felt a great sense of relief immediately. Furthermore, you don’t have to actually believe that it works; EFT is effective even if you’re skeptical.
How can it help me?
EFT can be useful in treating any fear or phobia, and can even be applied to simply feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. Nervous about an upcoming meeting? Aggravated by your boss or coworkers? Just focus on one concern at a time. For example, if you’re afraid of flying, perhaps you’d start with that. First, state aloud “Even though I have this fear of flying, I deeply and completely accept myself.” Next, proceed with physically tapping for anxiety on specific meridians while simultaneously stating phrases out loud (as you do with mantras).
You can insert any feeling into that statement, such as: “anger from my childhood” or “stress from that argument with my wife.” Many people even apply it to reduce physical pain. For example, they’d insert “this headache” or “this pain in my shoulder” into their spoken statements. I sent a family member one of the tappings for anxiety videos, and they said their headache was starting to diminish within minutes of tapping.
What parts of the body should I tap?
EFT videos vary, and the one I love incorporates the hand and fingers. To give you an idea of what’s involved, here are some of the most commonly tapped areas:
- At the edge of the eye where the eyebrow starts
- At the end of the brow, near the temple but not on it
- On the bone just underneath the eye
- On that little indentation above your upper lip
- Directly in that indentation just above the chin
- To the left and right of the fleshy indentation at the center of the collarbone
- Just below the armpit (aka the “bra band”)
- Top of the head.
But it looks weird!
So, here’s the deal—tapping your body and talking to yourself doesn’t look all that cool to an outsider. Treat it like meditating, or as though you were practicing an instrument. Find some time to sit alone where you will not be interrupted, turn off your phone and dedicate some time to the process each day. Don’t sit near a mirror, and don’t worry about how weird it may look. I even giggled a little the first time I watched a tapping video, but it wasn’t so funny after I tried it myself and saw how much better I felt.
Give it a try using the free site below—you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Happy tapping for anxiety!